Friday, May 29, 2015

Thoughts on Living With Chronic Conditions

Living with a chronic condition or illness is tough.  Admitting you even have one is equally as tough. No one wants to be seen inferior or weak because of it, yet often our society has a way of judging people like that.  Creating labels where they aren't necessary.  Fact is there isn't a person on this earth without some kind of issue, problem or imperfection.

I've always hated labels as I feel they trap people into believing that's all they are.  When in reality each of us has so many various components that make up who we are.  Yes one might suffer from a chronic condition or illness but that's not all of who they are or what defines them.  Truth is none of us can or should be defined as one thing it's too limiting considering all the possibilities within each of us.  Not to mention life changes daily, and I believe we all have that same capacity to change as well. 

And maybe that's why I don't like to talk about the dizziness, or even the heart stuff, as I don't want it to define me.  Don't want to give it any more attention than it already gets. Don't want it to be used against me which I've learned not so nice and spiteful people are certainly capable of.  I don't want to be seen as the girl who suffers from dizziness but instead for all the other amazing things I have to offer the world.  Feel like focusing on the negatives some how gives it more power, so try desperately to focus on the positive.

But maybe I need to find a balance too.  Because maybe my story might help someone else, maybe it might make someone else feel less alone with what they are experiencing or even suffering?  Because trust me when you suffer from any kind of physical ailment it's really hard for others to understand unless they themselves have experienced it.  Which can leave one feeling very alone and isolated at times.  Finding others who experience the same thing can be comforting in some kind of odd way.

The other night I had a horrific dizzy spell. It felt horrible, it scared me and I felt so helpless. So many times I have wanted to write about them, to share what I'm feeling in those moments.  The fear, pain, suffering that such spells bring. But I hold it in for reasons I'm not sure why.  Maybe I don't want to be seen as a complainer, or weak, don't want people to feel sorry for me or maybe it's just I don't want to talk about something that feels so personal?  It's hard for people to understand what another experiences or goes through without experiencing it first hand.

In those scary moments the thought that so often comes to mind is why me?  And the why's can really destroy you because the answers aren't there.  Questioning the why's of life can only lead down a path of more frustration with no more understanding than you started with. For me in such moments I always find myself questioning life.  If there is a God why does he allow people, or even animals to suffer?  That's the million dollar question I suppose.  Honestly hate that I even question it, yet it's hard not to when in the midst of any kind of difficult or painful moment in life.

The dizziness has kept me from doing much of what I wanted to do this week, including blog.  In those moments I despise what it has done to me and my life. Yet I feel guilty complaining or talking about it because I'm sure there is someone out there experiencing even worse things.

It's in those same moments that wish I had a few people in my life that just understood how hard it can be.  To just step in without even being asked and help me accomplish what I might need to but can't at that exact moment.  I'm not comfortable with having to ask for help because there is also a deeply independent side that doesn't want to have to depend on anyone.  What has been most disappointing is letting my guard down to ask for help and then having it refused or given a hard time because I'm asking. 

When the dizzy spells first started I never imagined the affect they would have on my life.  Nor the ways they would limit some of my dreams and goals.  To say it's been tough would be an understatement. What started out as some dizzy spells especially while using the computer morphed into something big, scary and powerful.  Leaving profound affects on everything.  It's not only the dizziness but I also have an heart issue as well.  The two combined are really hard to deal with some days.

The negatives seem easy to point out....holding me back from my dreams, causing me to settle for things I would have never settled for had I not the dizziness, creating a rather helpless feeling, make me feel as if I'm missing out on life, preventing me from doing things I love, the worst is the spells leave me feeling horrible; and that's just a few sure I'm leaving out plenty of others.

Yet also have to admit there have been positive....making me appreciate life more especially the small things,  learning what's truly important and what's not, it has taught me to be more accepting, compassionate, loving and understanding; made me less judgmental and superficial, it brought a clarity of sorts about life and people, led me to a deeper spiritual life, given me a completely different perspective on life. Even brought new interests and hobbies into my world.

So I suppose everything has a balance of some sort.  Maybe it has prevented me from doing a lot and living the life I desired or dreamed, yet maybe it has allowed me to become or grow into a better soul in some ways?  Maybe it's true that some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times. Of course we have to be and stay open to the lessons, willing to change as well.

I don't have all the answers that's for sure.  What I do know though is sharing our stories and thoughts is good. Talking about anything openly, with no judgmental opens the door to solutions and even resolutions.  It's only in learning the truth about people that we can truly connect with them.  Life is short there is no time to leave important words unsaid.

As for the dizziness looks like it's sticking around so guess it's something I'm going to have to learn to live with.  But it's just a part of me along with the other million things that make me who I am.  Maybe we can all keep that in mind about others as well.

Don't know where I even know wanted to go with this post other than to just say that every condition has it's positives and negatives. That people don't want to be labeled by just one thing. And that never judge another until you have walked in their shoes. 

There are many times I have to remind myself to stay patient, to some how trust the journey.  To just live every moment as best I can and appreciate the beauty of life.  Think the beauty is there if we just learn to feel and see it.

 Romans 12:12

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